To our beloved Cardinals, to our dear Archbishops and Bishops,
to our Parish Priests, Youth Directors and Directresses,
to the members of the Clergy,
to our sisters and brothers in the Consecrated Life,
to our Parents and Elders,
to our fellow young Filipinos and Filipinas,
to our sisters and brothers in Christ,
My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my savior… The Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name. [Lk 1:46-47, 49[i]]
This is our sentiment—we who gathered on 2018 May 31, Feast of Mary’s Visitation and Encounter with Elizabeth, in St. Paul University of Quezon City, upon the invitation of the Episcopal Commission on Youth (ECY) of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP). Youth leaders and youth ministers, clergy and consecrated women and men as well as lay people, through a 3-day process of reflecting and sharing—we drew up a roadmap for the celebration of the Year of the Youth (YOTY) in 2019, following the 2018 celebration of the Year of the Clergy and Consecrated Persons and continuing the 9-year preparation for the 500th year of evangelization of the Philippines.
Like Mary, we are thankful for this privilege of putting ourselves in the shoes of the Filipino youth to prepare for the Year of the Youth. On behalf of our fellow Filipino youth, like the two disciples of Emmaus, we will tell Jesus, the Son of Mary, our situation, our concerns and our youthful dreams for the Church and for the society. With Jesus and His Mother Mary, who went in haste to help Elizabeth, we encourage our youthful peers to hasten and join in realizing the goals of the Year of the Youth.
The Goals of the Year of the Youth
Goal 1: Youth in Formation
An evangelized youth conscious of his/ her giftedness, transformed by a personal encounter with Christ, and growing and maturing through youthful formation and activities.
Goal 2: Youth in the Community, Church and Society
A family-oriented youth whose image of oneself is patterned after the life of Jesus, and who is actively involved in the life of the Church and society through his/ her vocation, profession and stage in life.
Goal 3: Youth in Mission
A youth inspired by the church’s missionary spirit, who, like the Blessed Virgin Mary, courageously shares Christ’s message of joy and hope to people in difficult situations, rekindles the faith of those who drifted from the Church, and promotes dialogue with other faiths.
Goal 4: Youth Ministry and Youth Ministers
A preferential ministry for the young animated by youth ministers who are filled with the spirit of the new evangelization and equipped with pastoral skills and resources, ably responding to youth issues.